Many documentary photographic projects that deal with trans issues exploit the genders of their subjects, pointing to an “otherness” or inappropriately exoticizing their bodies. “A Series of Questions” seeks instead to make visible the transphobia and gender-baiting that can become part of everyday interactions and lives, forming a fuller picture of the various lived experiences.
One of the things I dig about this project, which I learned from its homepage, is that the photographer has an open call for participants who”have been on the receiving end of transphobic and gender-baiting questions.” As to whether or not a prospective subject is “____________ enough” to be considered, the photographer says,
I am not interested in policing anyone’s identities or experiences. You are the best judge as to whether or not you fit the parameters of this project.
I appreciate the inclusivity and self-determination here. This got me realizing that often, when artists render subjects, even when they are attempting to explore new territory or give voice and visibility to those who are typically silenced and erased, it is still the artist choosing the subjects and how they appear. In this project, the subjects define themselves, as participants, as to what signs they hold, and I assume what they wear, how they pose, etc. Interesting stuff, politically and artistically.